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In his latest blog Prof Mike Holmes, clinical lead at Nimbuscare, praises the team who have coped with the vaccine supply challenges facing the whole country this week.

I genuinely didn’t think it could be possible for me to be more proud of the Nimbuscare team, but it’s certainly happened this week – they have been incredible! They are running two services, using three different vaccines, giving both first doses and second doses, adapting to the needs of our population, dealing with queries from the public and all of this whilst managing the supply challenges that are affecting the whole country.

As I’ve said before, the appointment systems are complicated, especially at Askham Bar. We are unique here in York as we have two services running alongside each other – local and national. And our admin team have been juggling between three different booking systems. We might be forgiven for thinking that booking, ordering and clinical records might be on the same IT system – but sadly that is not the case. Our team and all those around the country are managing multiple systems and this adds to the complexity of the task. There are so many things to be proud of and so many lessons to be learned – but perhaps having everything on the same IT system is one of the most important lessons for the future.

Despite all of that, we are busier than ever as we continue with first and second doses. We are expecting an increase in vaccine supply later this month, so hopefully activity will increase still further and we will remain on target to vaccinate all eligible adults by the end of July. We have all played our part in getting this far – lets continue to do that - I would ask that you don’t contact your GP practice or our helpdesk, unless urgent. Nobody will be left behind and everyone will be vaccinated when it’s their turn.

We remain very positive about the impact the vaccination programme is having on the pandemic. The latest data is very encouraging, showing that one dose reduces transmission of the virus by up to 50%. Nationally the vaccination programme continues at pace with nearly 250 appointments booked a minute, or around 15,000 an hour. This is an amazing achievement. Last week Sky News came to film from the York site to highlight the success of the programme.

The York Vaccination Centre has now surpassed 200,000 vaccinations given, which feels really positive. And we’re doing really well across the Humber, Coast and Vale region with more than 1million vaccines delivered so far across a population of 1.7million people. Take up of the vaccine in our region is exceptionally strong with 19 out of 20 over 50-year-olds having had their first jab. The take up of the vaccine amongst ethnic minority groups is also improving and has almost tripled in the last two months.

Anyone over 50 years old who has not had their jab for whatever reason, can still book in for an appointment. Just go to nhs.uk and book in as soon as possible – the offer is still there.

Anyone who is pregnant, whatever age, should know that there is new evidence confirming it is safe for them to have the vaccine. Based on this information, the JCVI has now advised that pregnant women should be offered either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, when it is their turn.

There is also news this week that the Government’s vaccine taskforce has secured 60 million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine to support the UK’s booster programme this autumn. We will be following this in York very carefully to ensure we can deliver the booster programme and continue to protect our population so that we can, by then, ensure we continue to live without restrictions.

 

 

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